Under the framework of Functional Diversity (FD) research, two projects can be subsumed: (a) Effects of invasive plants species on FD and ecosystem functions, and (b) Quantification of FD during natural succession on skerry islands.
Effects of invasive plants species on functional diversity and ecosystem functions
Description: It has been postulated that invasive plants with a significant influence on community structure and functions will be especially successful und thus exert strong effects on community composition and biodiversity. However, to date only few comprehensive empirical studies addressed these questions.
Therefore, within this project we study the effects of successful invasive species on FD of plants in mountain grassland using Lupinus polyphyllus as model species.
Cooperation: Biosphere Reserve Rhön, Administration Unit Hessen
Quantification of functional diversity during natural succession on skerry islands
Scientists involved: MSc Miriam Bienau, apl. Prof. Dr. Rolf Lutz Eckstein, Prof. Dr. Dr. Annette Otte (JLU), Dr. Markus Bernhardt-Römermann (University Regensburg), Dr. Walter Durka (Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research Leipzig-Halle)
Kurzbeschreibung: Suitable indices for the quantification of different aspects of FD are only available since a few years. Therefore, our knowledge concerning the variation of FD in response to different land-use regimes or in the course of natural succession is rather low. Within the framework of this project, we study different aspects of FD of higher plants in a succession sere on small skerry islands in the Baltic sea of southern Sweden. The aim is to understand how FD is influenced by variables related to island biogeography such as island area, isolation and habitat heterogeneity.
Cooperation: Prof. Dr. Sara Cousins, Dept. of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, Sweden; Prof. em. Björn E. Berglund, Department of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, Lund University, Sweden
Eckstein, R.L., Bienau, M.J., Otte, A., Bernhardt-Römermann, M. Plant species richness and functional trait diversity on small land-uplift islands: direct and indirect effects of island area, habitat richness and distance. submitted.